Safety Jakar Hamilton leaves team

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia will be without the services of senior safety Jakar Hamilton as he has left the team, according to his mother, Tracy Hamilton.

"He just arrived home today. We wanted him to get down here," Tracy Hamilton said. "He wants to be close to home and for his grandmother to see him play. She has never seen him play."

Early Tuesday afternoon, Jakar tweeted that he wished his teammates good luck -- especially Derek Owens and Jarvis Jones -- and that he never thought this day would come.

An hour later, he updated his Twitter account with: "I'm transferring."

Hamilton, often called the "Hitman" by Georgia fans, was already expected to miss the season after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower right leg. The free safety from Johnston, S.C., had also missed a large portion of fall camp with a hamstring injury.

"Our next step is to talk to Mark Richt, let the specialists and trainers work to try to get his foot OK and get him going," Tracy Hamilton said. "Jakar has been through many obstacles. This is another he will get over."

The depth chart also seemed to weigh into Hamilton's decision.

"He needs to play. He is trying to make it to the next level, and I have no doubt we will see him play on Sundays," Tracy Hamilton said. "We did not feel he would have that chance at Georgia.

"Little disappointed in Georgia, but thank them for the opportunity. You hear different pitches, and you have to beware. I challenge every mother to do your research before sending your son off to college."

A transfer from Georgia Military Academy, Jakar Hamilton was at the center of a pitched recruiting battle between Alabama and Georgia. He picked the Bulldogs in what appeared to be a recruiting victory for Richt. Hamilton started five games last season and played in all 13 games, amassing 27 tackles, two pass breakups and one interception.

Hamilton is the sixth Georgia player to transfer this year, joining running back Washaun Ealey, linebackers Marcus Dowtin and Nick Williams, and offensive linemen Brent Benedict and A.J. Harmon.

"I grew up a Gamecocks fan, but I like Mark Richt, and I thank him and his staff at UGA for allowing my son to be there," Tracy Hamilton said.

There was no word on possible destinations for Hamilton. If he transfers to another FBS school he would have to sit out a season per NCAA transfer rules. If he transfers to an FCS school, he could be eligible to play next season.

Radi Nabulsi covers University of Georgia athletics for DawgNation. He can be reached at RadiNabulsiESPN@gmail.com.